Page 038: Keystone
Summary: Jacsen and Liliana chance to meet in the reading room. Recent events are discussed.
Date: 19/08/2011
Related Logs: The Oldstones Visit and the Fallout After: Accusations.
Jacsen Liliana 
Reading Room — Four Eagles Tower
The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.
19 Aug, 288 AL

In the aftermath of the aftermath of the arrival…and departure of the Castellan of Oldstones, it seems at least one of the three who met the woman and her manservant has seen fit to sequester herself from the frenetic activity in the hall. Whether in the caring for the guests who are still within Terrick walls, or the general riot of activity as the Tower gears up for the upcoming nuptials of the Young Lord of Terrick's Roost. Settled at one of the small reading desks, pulled up close to the window overlooking the land and cove without, Liliana seems to have applied herself to one of the many ledgers that will one day find itself locked away in the treasury. But this is not an old tome, some record of the finances of the Household. Rather, it seems freshly bound, as new as the quill with which Liliana is marking down the costs of the items she's been gathering either for the wedding or as replenishment for House stores, as guests come and go.

"… back for our lord's consideration. And do make sure you give it only into Lord Mallister's hand, or that of his Castellan. Our correspondence is for no other hands," Jacsen can be heard to say, his voice carrying lightly in the wide hall, as he walks with one of the myriad persons in service to his Lord father. "I appreciate your swift delivery." The slight rap of his cane upon the floor follows each step the Terrick lord takes, muffled lightly by the carpets that cover stone. "You'll want to linger a day or two, to see what correspondence might need be sent back this way."

The man with Jacsen nods his understanding, and bows, before taking his leave at a quick gait. The lord himself remains in place, leaning some on his cane, as he watches the messenger go.

As quiet as it remains in the reading room, the sound of voices without is hard to miss, nor the identity of the speaker to make out. There is a moment, when the skin of her brown creases, some small curiosity stealing away a fraction of the attention she should be paying to her ledger, but it seems more on the speaker than on the message spoken, as though she were trying to place his precise location on the hall outside of the room, making allowances for the vagaries of stone and acoustics. A glance, down at the workspace, and finding it presentable, as well the woman who goes with it. Simple indoor dress, and no ink about the sleeve. Nothing at all to embarrass the Lord Ser whose accounts she's keeping. Today.

One might be relieved to know that the Lord Jacsen Terrick is a touch less taciturn and stern than his sire the Lord Ser Jerold, should one be privy to such rumors and details that make their way about the Roost in the wake of a long-absent son's return. Jacsen's cane thumps again upon the floor as he begins to move, some errant shelf and its contents like as not his destination.

The sight of his father's ward, set to the task of ledgers, seems not to be beneath or above his notice, for the cane comes to a halt not long after it begins to sound again. "Lady Liliana?" he calls, politely, "Is that you I see, amongst the ledgers?"

Considering the Camden Lady's recent encounters with the Sire, and the first of his sons, it might well be that she would be much relieved, at this appearance of the second. Quill set back into its well, at the approach of the Lord Jacsen. Her attention she gives freely enough, a smile, welcoming and companionable lightening the expression of a moment before. "It is indeed, Lord Jacsen."

But she isn't hiding, Gods be damned. Much. No, not at all. Simply…a strategic respite from the frontlines of battle. But hardly on that affects this Lord…for the moment, "If you had hoped for complete solitude, I am afraid your hopes are dashed. But in favour of the day, the light is good and good for reading."

"No, I am too accustomed to the busy nature of Seaguard to have much expectation of solitude, nor do I find myself with a predilection for it, often," Jacsen remarks, giving the concern a faint dissenting shake of his head, accompanied with a mild smile. "So what is this, then?" he wonders, gesturing towards the books Liliana has before her, "Has my lord father set some pleasant drudgery before you this afternoon?"

"Perhaps, when I first came, I might well have seen it so. My mother long lamented of my inability to set my mind to tasks that required patience and stillness in thought and deed. But I have found that I do not mind it hardly so much now as I once did." Liliana gestures with her hand, allowing the Lord the freedom to look over the accounting, "In preparation for the wedding of Lord Jaremy. Accounts of what has been bought or brought. Records to be reviewed, before they are added to the House ledger," which Liliana has no access to.

The mention of his former residence brings an expression of curiosity, "I have heard much told, of Seagard and its Lord, but I must admit I have had little honest knowledge of either. Nor of you. You had already been at the court of the Mallisters when I first came to the Roost. Tell me about them." There's a gentle uptick to the end of her words, making the inquiry both a question and a request.

"The Mallisters? Well, truth be told they are much like their reputation has them to be," Jacsen remarks, his thoughtful expression one he wears as he slowly moves towards a seat. "Proud, just, honorable. Lord Mallister is one whom has a memory longer than most, something that does him well both in remembering fair service and holding grudges." He lowers himself into the seat gingerly, hand holding his cane at the middle.

"And what of Tall Oaks? I've never been, though I mean to," he tells the Camden lady. "What is it like?"

"Then he is as the stories that have reached me of him would attest. I only saw him…once, very briefly, at the tourney at Stonebridge." Liliana does not reclaim a seat, even as Jacsen finds his own, moving over towards the window, a shoulder leaning against it, more for a chance to enjoy the warmth of the light and the slight breeze blowing in from the single open pane, than any need to actually use it for its view of the surround, "A beautiful land, green and fair, accepting only the farthest reaches of our holdings, far to the north of The Neck. And yet, even there, there is something to be recalled of the rich summer growth of that land closer to where our holdings meet yours. We are a gentle people, in many ways, but we are as strong and proud as any of you riverfolk. My Lord Uncle has invited Lord Ser Jaremy to visit Tall Oaks. Perhaps, if he should choose to make the journey, you will come with him. It is but a day's ride from here to the nearest border of our lands."

The Terrick listens politely to the daughter of Tall Oaks speak of the land of her birth, while he takes a respite from the strain of standing in the confines of a reasonably comfortable seat. "I might well do so, should he accept the invitation, and wish for brotherly company," Jacsen informs Liliana. "Though I fear events of late might either preclude or hasten such choices, hmm?"

He shifts in his seat some, and adds, "That episode in the courtyard with the Oldstones woman, their Steward, I believe? Quite the case in point."

"It seems to me, that Lord Jaremy has greater need of his brothers now than perhaps at any time before." There's a sadness in the woman's voice, a reflection of the darkening of the expression in her eyes, on her face. "The time might well be approaching when he will have need of the sanctuary that Tall Oaks can provide."

"That was poorly done, indeed." Whatever Liliana might think of it, there is no doubt she supported Jaremy at the time, as her place within the household dictated. "I fear the retribution that will come of it."

The lord shakes his head slightly. "I would not fear too much, if only because there is nothing for Oldstones to gain in enmity with Terrick's Roost… if they are what they seem," Jacsen remarks. "If they are not, then it is likely little harm done, all the same. What I worry for is the display it makes of my dear brother Jaremy. It was not a gallant moment for him, no more than did the Castellan do Oldstones any honor, I think." His lips form a thin line at that. "Know that I say this understanding your loyalty to my father's house… elsewise you would never hear such pass my lips."

Liliana's attention, ever on the Lord, turns fully, the light now filtering in through the window, but now behind her, causing a shadowing of her face, but not so much so that her expression is not as clear as ever it was, her tone clear and precise, "I hold no greater loyalty to any House than House Terrick, save my own." And who would not put the house of their Birth before every other in the Seven Kingdoms? "To my mind, it painted him quite poorly. As a man of quick temper and duplicitous nature, unable to assert control over neither his own emotions, nor his own betrothed. It painted him, to use the Castellan's words, as a man who needed to be 'taken in hand' by his soon to be lady Wife. Believe me when I tell you, I knew nothing of this retainer the Castellan of Oldstones claimed road to their lands under false pretense, but the fact that Lord Jaremy did not have some plain answer or explanation on the chance that this agent might be discovered lends itself to the interpretation of his actions as dishonorable. And his treatment of his Castellan, for all that it might have been merited, given the woman's words, only strengthens such an interpretation. And while they might feel as though they have nothing to gain, it might well serve to push them that much closer to the Naylands. And that we can ill afford. The enemies mount up at our gates, Lord Jacsen, and we have precious little by the way of allies. Banefort might well send their ships, but their lands are long and far from ours, and they might well be better served in simply voiding the contract and recalling all of their daughter. And who would stand with us then? Stonebridge is lost to us. And the Mallisters will not send out swords that may be called upon to war with their own bannermen."

Jacsen raises a hand in Liliana's direction, a motion one might expect is meant to instruct some measure of calm or respite in another. "While I think my brother's actions reflect poorly, Lady Liliana, I think you are perhaps underestimating the whole sum of his character, that of the Roost, and mayhap the Riverlands proper." He leans back into his seat, and lets out a slow breath. "Whatever my brother's actions, he is not Lord of the Roost, and we all hope that, by grace of the Seven, Lord Jerold Terrick rules for many long years, whatever the fitness of any of his sons and heirs."

"I appreciate the vigor with which you put your mind to these matters," he compliments the woman, his right hand resting against his scalp by the tips of his fingers. "And would see you share your thoughts with me on these sorts of matters as they come across you, if you'd be so kind and willing, my lady."

Liliana seems neither angered nor chagrined by the man's censure, keeping whatever reaction the comment might have instilled in thought or emotion easily schooled, her demeanour relaxed, and easy, "And what do people know of his character, aside from what they have been shown at tournaments and in times such as these, Lord Jacsen? You have been at Seagard, Ser Jarod is a knight sworn and blooded. You have both had occasion to sit on display outside of the Roost. What occasion have they had to get to know him and to judge the strength of the man who will one day rule, may the gods grant that it is long in coming, in Lord Ser Jerold's place? First impressions are usually the most lasting, and can be the most damning. But, if you feel I am underestimating his character, the Roost and the Riverlands, Lord Jacsen, perhaps you would enlighten me, seeing as I am so mistaken in my own interpretations."

Of the offer to share her thoughts on these sorts, she does not reply.

"And you think nothing of what my brother has done here?" Jacsen wonders, his tone far from adversarial, his manner more conversational than anything else. If there is offense taken at his words, one would not get the impression that the Lord Terrick was seeking to offer it up. "He is well loved by his people, known for his kindness, his just nature. Its true that your kin are known for their affection to the smallfolk of Tall Oaks, but that is a rarity across the Seven Kingdoms, my lady. His defense and love of the smallfolk do him a great credit, and that is a credit that carries far in the Riverlands," he determines. "It is not enough, though no few good qualities ever would be, and it shall be his duty to ensure his reputation grows beyond that."

"I was not referring to the impression he gives to the smallfolk, to those people who have had opportunity to see him and know him, in his years growing up here at the Roost, Lord Jacsen. Lord Jaremy is, as you say, a noble knight of good heart and much love for his people, as well as his family. But the impressions within a House are not so the impressions without a House. Well do I know how people regard me in Tall Oaks, for an example, those who have known me since before I could crawl, smallfolk and noble alike, who eased my hurts and dried my tears and share my laughter and the good years of my life before I was sent here to your Lord Father's keeping. And how differently do I know that people regard me here at Terrick's Roost. Three years I have been here, and there are many who see me as little more than what I was when I arrived. To their minds, a lesser daughter of a craven House." Liliana has certainly never had any illusions in that regard, on how her House is perceived. "My thought it to how he appears in the eyes of those who have not had the chance to know him, who hear of him only in tales told at wine and with a vicious heart. It is his reputation to those who dwell outside of these lands, that concerns me."

"I think it instrumental, the thoughts of his smallfolk, to determining the measure of the man that spreads beyond these lands," Jacsen counters, with a slight shrug of his shoulder. "While I understand your thought, and confess there is clear sense to it, I think things are far too young in the cradle yet for the halls of distant Lords to make their minds so. Here, in the Riverlands, he is known as Jerold Terrick's son, and that alone carries weight of character, and a reputation that serves him well. The Mire holds him little love, but that is to be expected… and beyond here, how much do you think his name is recognized, let alone coupled with reputation? He is the heir to a lordship, bannerman to one of the Tully's own bannermen." He adds, "What word of our family, and my brother, that has spread beyond must not have been terrible, for it secured a match with one of the Lannisters' own banners."

He draws a careful breath and reaches for his cane, using it to leverage himself back to his feet. It's a not a very graceful process, but Jacsen is about it as efficiently as he might be, eschewing assistance as a matter of course. "In any case, I think reputation is important, but not the final arbiter of things. You speak of the ill reputation that some cast at House Camden, at Tall Oaks. Yet we both know it not to be true, and neither of us would think to encourage your Lord of Tall Oaks to change his manner."

"Reputation begins, much like a Keep with a keystone, around which all other stones are laid, Lord Jacsen. If that keystone is strong and well placed, little will be able to tear that house down. But if there is the slightest crack, no amount of stone, beam or mortar will be able to keep the house from tumbling down." Liliana steps away from the window then, as she sees the Lord begin to rise, but she does not move to assist him. Perhaps she knows it would not be welcome. "The reach of the Lannisters is long, as, it seems in the reach of the Baneforts. It may be that the words of House Nayland might well fit those two Houses as well." The Nayland words: Reach Beyond Thy Grasp. "But that is a discussion for another day, Lord Jacsen. For the now, I thank you for the company." And more gently, "And if you have need, go and find Lord Jaremy. Ask him for the jar of unguent I gave him after he rose from his illness. It may prove to your good." But nothing more does she offer, only a dip of her head, in respect to the Lord as he moves to take his leave.